Baler Travel Guide – DIY Sample IT and Budget Included
Baler, a town situated on the east coast of Luzon in the province of Aurora, is a well-known surfing destination because of its strategic location. It is fronting the roaring waves of the Pacific Ocean, and is cuddled by the mountains of Sierra Madre. It made name in the tourism industry when the Hollywood classic film “Apocalypse Now (1979)” shot their surfing scenes in Sabang Beach, which is now referred to as a surfer’s paradise.
More than surfing, however, Baler is also a go-to destination for those who love nature, culture and tradition, old stories and history, and thrill and adventure. Needless to say, this town has so much more to offer to wandering souls that its dancing waves.
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HOW TO GET TO BALER FROM METRO MANILA
BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Only Genesis Bus Company has a direct route Baler from Cubao, Quezon City. You can choose between the standard air-conditioned bus or JoyBus (Deluxe). The JoyBus is better as it is an executive type with comfortable seats, blanket, pillows, snacks, and WiFi. It’s non-stop, too, cutting the normal 6-7 travel time to just 5-6 hours! Rate is PhP800 to PhP898 per person. Earliest departure is at 3AM.
For updated rates and schedules, you may contact:
PHBUS CO. LTD.
2F Unit F, RSJF Building, 853 AB Vizcarra, Malibay,
Pasay City, Philippines
Contact Number: 09202593109
Baler to Manila: Buses bound for Manila are in Genesis terminal which can be found near the public market. Please ask the latest trip back to Manila when you get there so you won’t be left behind.
BY PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION
- From Metro Manila, take the NLEX and exit towards SCTEX/Clark Airport.
- Follow the signs heading to TPLEX and exit at Lapaz towards Tarlac City.
- From there, you can Waze your way to the provice for easy and faster navigation.
- Estimated travel time is 4-5 hours depending on traffic situation and road condition.
GOING AROUND BALER – WHAT TO SEE AND DO
Just like La Union, Baler in Aurora is also an all-year-round tourist destination because it offers a lot of activities. It is not just a prime spot for surfing but also a very accessible destination for history buffs and those who love outdoor adventures such as nature trekking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and sightseeing.
If you do not have your own car, the cheapest mode of transportation in touring the town of Baler is via a tricycle. You can hire one for PhP700-PhP1000 (good for a maximum of 5 people) and see the famous attractions around Baler and leighboring towns like: Baler Museum, Dona Aurora Aragon Quezon House, Baler Church and Plaza, Ermita Hill, Fish Port, Digusit Beach & Waterwalls, Mother Falls, and the Balete Plaza and the Mellinium Tree.
DIGUISIT BEACH & ROCK FORMATIONS
Entrance Fee: FREE
Parking Fee: FREE
Diguisit beach is not an ideal spot for swimming or surfing. Tourists visit this place because of the amazing rock formations also known as the Lukso-Lukso islet.
Entrance Fee: FREE
Parking Fee: FREE
Take a side trip to Diguisit waterfalls when you visit the Diguisit beach. The falls can be reach after an easy two-minute hike from the road.
Entrance Fee: PhP15 per person
Parking Fee: PhP10
Ermita Hill offers the best vantage point to enjoy the majestic view of the town of Baler, Sabang Beach, Cemento and Dimadimalangat islet. The Tromba Marina statue stands at the foot of the hill. It depicts the brave journey to safety of the survivors of the 18th century tsunami that ravaged the whole town of Baler, leaving only 10 families alive.
MUSEO DE BALER & AURORA HOUSE
Entrance Fee: PhP35 per person
About: The museum contains artifacts, paintings and other memorabilia about the province’s history, and the Aurora Quezon House.
Entrance Fee: FREE
This beach with shorelines of smooth rocks of various sizes and colors is one of the best places in the province of Aurora to watch the sun as it rises above the horizon. It’s roughly an hour away from Baler town proper.. This is one of the best place to watch sunrise.
This place in Dipaculao, Aurora is accessible by hiring a motorized boat from Sabang Beach or via private cars.
DITUMABO MOTHER FALLS
Environmental Fee: PhP30 per person
Tour Guide: (required) PhP200
Parking Fee: PhP30
If your wanderlust for waterfalls is not satisfied by the Diguisit falls, you might as well take a 30-minute trek to the Mother of all Falls in Brgy. Ditumabo, San Luis, Aurora. The majestic Ditumabo Falls stands 140 feet high, and it’s surrounded by huge cliffs and boulders.
Ditumabo Mother Falls is enormous, but it is not the biggest waterfalls in Aurora province because, according to locals, there is an existing Father Falls which requires tourist to take a 6-hour trek.
BALETE PARK & THE MILLENNIUM TREE
Entrance Fee: PhP15 (adult) (20% discount for senior) / PhP10 (kid)
Parking Fee: PhP10
This is the biggest Balete tree in Asia, and one of the most distinguished landmark of the town. According to locals the tree is around 600 years old!
Other places to visit: Dicasalarin Cove, The Hanging Bridge in Brgy. Zapali, San Luis Obispo Church, Cemento Beach
SURFING IN BALER
Aside from La Union, Baler is also noted as a surfing paradise in the north. Thee long coastline of Sabang Beach (the popular surfing spot) offers many great spots for surfing. If your primary goal is to enjoy riding the waves, head to Baler when the northeast monsoon start blowing, which happens from October to February.
Instructor + Surfboard rental – PhP350 per hour
Surfboard rental only – PhP200 per hour or PhP800 per day
WHERE TO STAY IN BALER
Since Baler is one of the most prominent tourist destination in Luzon both for foreigners and Filipinos, there are a lot of accommodation in the area from budget inns to posh hotels. Below are some of the options just click on the photo to book a room and see more details:
You may also check this accommodation map for more options:
OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION
- All mobile operators have mobile signals.
- ATMs are available.
- Most establishments accept credit/debit cards but not traveler’s check. Paying through cash is still the best option.
- Language: Filipino/Tagalog, Ilocano, and English.
- Currency: Philippine Peso
BALER SAMPLE DIY ITINERARY
01:00AM ETD Metro Manila
06:30AM Arrival in Sabang Beach, Baler
07:00AM Check-in. Rest.
10:00AM Start of Tour (Museo De Baler, Aurora House, Baler Church, Ermita Hill)
01:00PM Lukso-Lukso Islet / Diguisit Beach/ Ermita Hill
03:00PM Back to Sabang Beach. Surf.
07:30PM Dinner. Free time.
06:00 AM Wake-up / prepare
07:00 AM Breakfast
08:00 AM Bound to Mother Falls a.k.a. Ditumabo Falls
12:00 NN Lunch/ Check out/ Bound for Manila
02:00 PM ETA Balete Tree
07:00 PM Dinner along the way
11:00PM ETA Manila
If you’re a group of 4 and you stay in a quad room prepare around PhP3,500 – PhP4,000. That’s an all-in budget with tour and surfing. If you are bringing your own car, set a budget of PhP2,500 – PhP3,000. Sports utility vehicle is highly recommended as most of the roads are zigzag and inclined.
There are a lot of tour operators that offer Baler trips during summer. One reliable travel agency we can vouch for is Sole Adventours. Their 2D1N Baler package costs P1,980. You may contact them here.
- There are affordable eateries abound Baler town proper. You can eat at carenderias or fast food chains for cheaper food options. The Kusina Luntian is one for the book.
- If you are commuting, take the standard air-con bus instead of the deluxe air-con bus.
We are continuously updating this Baler Travel Guide. If you have more to add, please leave your comments below. Help us provide you with more informative travel guides. Thank you for dropping by!
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